If you've ever needed an excuse to visit Sin City, let Vegas Uncork'd be the first in your little black book. This epic four-day food festival will have guests feasting on multi-course menus each night, indulging in a perfect wine pairing and yes, even playing a hand of Black Jack or two.
Curated by Bon Appétit magazine and Visit Las Vegas, Vegas Uncork'd oversees the gathering of the world's top 50 chefs under one roof, alongside cooking demos, lavish parties and intimate get-togethers.
This past year, Chef Gordon Ramsay was busy serving up petite-sized fish and chips and savoury sliders, while celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia graced the crowds with her presence. For evening fun fare, Lisa Vanderpump hosted a rosé party at Caesars, keeping the crowd dancing well past midnight.
We may not know which A-list celebrity chefs will be attending Vegas Uncork'd 2020, but we do know it's a food festival worth attending year after year. Here are the top three reasons not to miss this star-studded affair in the new decade.
You can rub shoulders with iconic chefs
Let's be real. This is the reason you can find over 2,500 foodies gathered together under the desert stars each year. The festival's signature event is the Grand Tasting hosted at the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace. Here, you can find more than 50 of the most iconic chefs and lauded restaurants serving up unlimited food, wine, beer and spirits all evening long. Celebrated chefs include Gordon Ramsay, Nobu Matsuhisa and Giada De Laurentiis, who are more than willing to shake hands, answer questions and snap a photo or two with fans.
But it doesn't end there.
The boom of the Las Vegas food scene has turned into an explosion over the past few years. As the city works to re-brand itself as the mecca for high-end food fare, celebrity chefs have been flocking there – which often means a good chance of spotting well-known chefs cooking up a storm within their own establishments.
Chica, which opened about two years ago at the Venetian is stewarded by iconic Miami chef Lorena Garcia. Guests can often spot her shuttling perfectly plated creations from the kitchen to tables at her boho-chic restaurant. "The restaurant is my absolute dream come true. To be on the Las Vegas Strip feel like a testament to truly making it. But you have to keep up, everyone here is the best," said Garcia.
You can indulge in the ultimate Las Vegas sin: gluttony
There is no shortage of indulgent food in Las Vegas. With around two dozen events making up the entirety of the Vegas Uncork'd, each day kicks off with a themed lunch event at one of the revered restaurants, followed by a drinking experience and an extravagant dinner. Here are some of our favourites:
Roses and Rose with Lisa Vanderpump
Yes, here you can enjoy a variety of pink bubbles while rubbing elbows with the Vanderpump Rules reality TV star. Hosted in the all-new Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace, snack on sweet and savoury bites as you mingle under candlelight in the colourful indoor garden.
Costa Di Mare | Wynn Las Vegas
From Amalfi, with Love
Craving Italian food? This one is for you. Enjoy an al fresco lunch sampling the fine foods of coastal Positano, Capri and more. With a strong focus on seafood and fresh pasta, be sure to come with your stretchy pants on.
Picnic in the Park
If you can't make it to the Grand Tasting, this event features an all-star roster of MGM Resorts' favourite chefs. Soak up the sun while noshing on an inventive picnic lunch, accompanied by wine curated by Master Sommelier Jason Smith.
Experience the entire Las Vegas Strip
Perhaps the best part of Uncork'd is the ability to experience The Strip in its entirety. There is something slightly magical about walking past the Eiffel Tower one minute and strolling along the canals of Venice the next. Since Uncork'd is hosted in the top hotels across the downtown core, festival-goers are sure to experience the full breadth of the city.
Want to kick off your day with an elevated brunch? Sadelle's is perhaps one of the best breakfasts in the city (shhh, we won't tell if you won't). Serving signature dishes straight out of NYC, try the Sadelle's Tower if you consider yourself a bagel-lover. For a vegan option, don't miss the thick-cut French toast.
Need a quick lunch at a legendary restaurant? Find Spago by Wolfgang Puck at the centrally-located Bellagio. The restaurant delivers California market-inspired cuisine, such as creamy mushroom soup. Plus, the view directly overlooking the Bellagio fountain's dancing water shower isn't too shabby either.
How about kicking back and relaxing between meals? Head over to the spa within the Bellagio for a Fresh Face and Body Hydration treatment, where infused vitamins bring your tired body back to life. Visitors also have access to the steam room, sauna and plunge pools that will leave you saying, ahhhh.
When you go:
WHERE TO STAY: One of Las Vegas' newest hotels, Park MGM, is the perfect home base for your time at Uncork'd. Home to a medley of casinos, nightclubs and restaurants (hello Eataly!), there is not shortage of things to fill your time in a city that never sleeps. The rooms themselves are sleek and chic, akin more to a New York hotel than that of the (sometimes) gaudy local scene. With multiple pools on property, you'll feel as if you've been transported to utopia.
WHAT TO DO: If you want a break from eating (though, do you really?), there are plenty of fun attractions in and around the city. The Neon Museum examines the history of some of the most famous neon signs once housed on The Strip. If you can't quite afford the designer boutiques, Fashion Show Mall offers everything from Anthropologie to Nordstrom. For nighttime entertainment, Absinthe-Spiegelworld Las Vegas is the funniest (and most outlandish) show in the city. Presented in an intimate circus tent, you're guaranteed to get up-close and personal to the performers.
WHAT TO EAT: Literally everything.
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